Oh, crap. This game is difficult.
The first thing you need to know about Flinthook is that it is merciless in its mechanics. It’s a roguelike, so that means I’m back at the beginning of the level every two minutes or so. I’m having such a hard time just trying to shoot enemies, fire my hook in the right direction and not step in the bad stuff all at the same time. I loved Spelunky, where I felt like I was actually making progress in the caverns before dying a hero’s death (not really). Flinthook is not like that. Flinthook doesn’t care about your feelings.
On the upside, the game is beautiful and has really fun music. I mean, check this out. This is cool. I fell in love the second this started playing, not knowing that I would be crying within five minutes.
So, onto the combat itself.
You have a gun. It shoots plasma orbs. You can slow down time. I always forget this feature exists, because I’m too distracted. It would probably help a lot if I remembered to use it. I could not fathom playing this game with a keyboard and mouse, however, if you’re using a controller I hope you can get used to everything being mapped onto one side because you can’t change it. Hahahahaha!
Honestly? This doesn’t bother me. While playing I never stopped to think, “man, I really wish I could reconfigure the controls.” Some people might, but for me, it wasn’t a deal breaker. I’m just bad at the game, and a different control scheme is not going to save me.
Fortunately, even though I’m dying a lot I’m still making progress. I’m still leveling up and collecting items that will open up new worlds to explore. The downside is that the worlds are all a bit samey. I haven’t played far enough to see if this ever changes, but it seems like all the worlds are pretty much the same theme which might get a little bland after a while. It also seems like there’s a fair amount of grinding involved. This will either be hit or miss for some folks. I personally don’t mind shutting off my brain for thirty minutes on the couch while I grapple hook around and break things. It’s cathartic.
So far, I like Flinthook a fair bit but I really wish it was on the Switch. I’d like to curl up in bed and play it.
Developer: Tribute Games (Shawn says he enjoys the look of their stuff but doesn’t actually like playing any of it. Shawn, you’re not going to like this one either. Go back to Spelunky.)
Release date: April 18th, 2017
Platforms: PS4 (played), Steam PC, Xbox One
Regular price: $14.99